While darkness still crept through the chapters of history, singled out was Egypt – a dazzling ray of light – ushering the world into an era of aspiration with her enlightening civilization, progressiveness, and prosperity, as indeed with the Egyptian populace’s refinement.
As the world was still being consumed by pursuit of the footprints that the Egyptian traced across all ages, Egypt’s citizens were swiftly pacing anew towards progress.
Egypt’s unique geographical location infinitely offered the inhabitants of this universe in each and every realm of living; among Egypt’s gifts to the world, the Suez Canal reigns supreme still. And yes, through its very own merit, the New Suez Canal project, is a fresh wonder that Egypt escorts into this world, to be inscribed upon the chapters of history, infinitely immortalizing the very name of Egypt throughout the ages.
Delving into history has its myriad benefits. As I embarked on my own journey with the Suez Canal, I was inspired by many a page and phase of history, profoundly sifting through both that of Egypt or indeed the globe, to arrive at the NEW SUEZ CANAL project, precisely at its opening scene, portraying His Excellency President Abdel-Fattah El- Sisi among his Egyptian citizenry, ushering in the initiation of the NEW SUEZ CANAL excavation. Captivating as captivating can be, it sent my thoughts racing through times and places, wandering from one page to another of the rich history of Egypt, to commence at the very beginning.
The history of the Suez Canal dates back to eras afar, from times of Pharaohs to Greeks, Romans, then Arabs, emerging in some detail during the days of the Viceroy of Egypt Muhammad Ali; then the dream materialized at the hands of Egyptians under Viceroy Said Pasha, to transform the Suez Canal into a precious jewel that Egypt presented to the world in the days of Khedive Ismail Pasha.
In terms of the Canal’s history, many a force contended to gain control of this very vein that proved to be of utmost vitality to almost every nation upon earth, ultimately depriving Egypt’s nationals of the waterway, only to be subsequently retrieved by way of the nationalization that witnessed Egypt subjected to an offensive well cemented in the history of the country, destined to emerge victorious, and yes, the Suez Canal remained purely Egyptian.
So much so, in this book of ours “THE NEW SUEZ CANAL: EGYPT’S GIFT TO THE WORLD”, we are keen to present the very idea of building some canal to connect the Red Sea with the Mediterranean, existent throughout Egyptian history, together with many a study in this regard, all the way through to burrowing the Suez Canal and inaugurating it, then its nationalization at the hands of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, followed by the impact of this decision on the world, triggering the Tripartite Aggression in 1956.
Therefore the Suez Canal is not merely a distant “past”, but an awesome Egyptian “present”, indeed, some ray of hope towards a better “future”. I find myself thumbing through some radiant pages of history to arrive at the present day, conceiving goodness and prosperity for Egypt, at the hands of one of her patriotic sons, none other than President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, who managed to unite all Egyptians by way of delivering a new wonder, an initiative mesmerizing the world, that is the New Suez Canal project, to reaffirm that Egypt is, as it always has been, lofty by way of its loyal children’s thinking and action.
And that we set out along the road towards serious work and gigantic projects, to allow Egyptians to follow through on this great nation’s history, of which the Bible said, “Even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt.” [Genesis 13:10], the land of security and safety, mentioned in the Qur’an, “Enter Egypt, Allah willing, in safety” [Surah of Youssef, Verse 99], the country that has been granted blessings like no other ever received; it is a haven for the prophets of God, a refuge to which the Holy Family resorted. Egypt is marked by a defining seal in history, civilizations and religions, being a land of goodness, blessings, love and peace. May God safeguard and protect Egypt against all evil.
23rd July, 2015 C.E.
7th Shawwal, 1436 A.H.
16th Abib, 1731 A.M.
President of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center